October 18, 2012

Volleyball Resumes Conference Play On The Road This Week

This Week:

Friday - at Findlay, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday - at Wayne State, 4 p.m.

*The Opening Serve: The Ferris State University women's volleyball team will resume Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play this weekend on the road.  The Bulldogs visit Findlay on Friday, Oct. 19, for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) league tilt at UF's Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio.  FSU then faces Wayne State on Saturday, Oct. 20, with match time set for 4 p.m. (ET) at the Matthaei Complex in Detroit.

*Crossover Recap: The Bulldogs posted a 1-2 mark against tough regional competition at last weekend's (Oct. 12-13) Mizuno GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament at the Great Lakes Center in Aurora, Ill.  FSU fell to Lewis (Ill.) 3-2 in the opening match on Friday followed by a 3-1 setback to nationally-ranked Indianapolis in the nightcap.  On Saturday, the Bulldogs came back to beat Southern Indiana 3-1 to wrap up the tournament.  The event which pitted 16 GLVC members against 16 institutions representing the GLIAC and is the nation's largest college volleyball event in its fifth season. The two-day tournament featured 48 matches conducted on eight courts at one of the top volleyball facilities in the country. The event was designed to increase competition between teams from the two leagues in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region.

*Media Coverage: Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for links to all available coverage.  Both schools will offer live pay-per-view video streams along with live internet statistics this weekend.

*The 40th Season: The 2012 campaign represents Ferris State's 40th season of women's volleyball. The Bulldogs own an all-time record of 850-470 (.644). Since the program's inception in 1973, the Bulldogs have won 10 GLIAC titles, qualified 16 times for the NCAA-II Tournament and registered 32 winning seasons. 

*850th Win: The Bulldogs notched the program's 850th all-time victory with last Saturday's win over Southern Indiana at the Mizuno GLIAC/GLVC Crossover Tournament.

*2012 Record: Ferris State is currently 15-5 overall and 8-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) North Division to date.

*The Coach: FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm (Alma, 1990) is midst her 17th year at Ferris State. Brandel-Wilhelm ranks among the nation's top active coaches with a 466-189 (.711) career record.  She holds a record of 348-169 (.673) at the Bulldog helm. Brandel-Wilhelm entered the 2012 campaign as Ferris State's all-time winningest coach. She became the program's fifth head coach in June 1996.  Brandel-Wilhelm is two victories shy of notching her 350th win at the Ferris State helm.

*All-Tourney Honors: The Bulldogs had several players earn all-tournament team honors in two events to open the 2012 campaign.  Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton (Grand Rapids/Northview) and junior middle hitter Angi Kent (Lansing/Waverly) both were among the 12 individuals named to the Ferris State Invitational All-Tournament Team (Aug. 31-Sept. 1).  Two FSU players claimed all-tournament team accolades the following week at the Minnesota-Duluth Classic (Sept. 7-8) as Sutton and sophomore outside hitter Courtney Rehm (Portage/Central) both were recognized.

*National Rankings: Ferris State is currently ranked 26th nationally this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Poll.  FSU, which was ranked 14th in the preseason poll, dropped out of the top 25 for the first time this season this week, but is still the top team receiving votes with 54 total.

*Coming Up Next: The Bulldogs return home to Big Rapids as they entertain the Michigan Tech Huskies in league competition on Friday, Oct. 26, at 5 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena.  FSU hosts Northern Michigan on Oct. 27 and rival Grand Valley State on Oct. 30 in Big Rapids.

*4,000 Assists: Senior setter Samantha Fordyce (DeWitt) currently ranks fourth in school history with 4,259 career assists and needs 152 more to catch former Bulldog Ashley Green's third-place career total fo 4,411 total assists.  Fordyce notched her 4,000th career assist in FSU's road win at Grand Valley State (Sept. 25).

*2012 GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll: Ferris State was selected first in the 2012 GLIAC Preseason North Division Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs captured 10 first-place votes and 211 total points as the favorite in the 16-team league.  FSU, which won the GLIAC North Division a year ago, was tabbed to finish ahead of defending conference tournament champion Hillsdale.  The Chargers came in second with 193 points and three first-place votes.

*2012 FSU Roster: Ferris State's 2012 active roster includes six seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and six freshmen. Seven of the 18 players are middle hitters, seven are outside hitters and the four others fill the squad's setter, defensive specialist and libero roles.  All but two members of the team are from Michigan.

*Ewigleben Sports Arena: The Bulldogs have compiled a 314-83 (.791) record to date in 31 seasons of competition at the Ewigleben Sports Arena since moving from the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Building in 1981. Ferris, which has accumulated six undefeated home seasons in the facility, produced a 15-1 home ledger in 2011. Overall, Ferris is 167-43 (.795) in home matches under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm.

*2011 Record: The Bulldogs won the GLIAC North Division Championship while also reaching the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Semifinals in 2011 with a 27-4 overall record.  Ferris State finished as league co-champions after posting an 18-1 conference mark under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs appeared in their 14th straight GLIAC Tournament a season ago.

*All-Conference Returners: Ferris State has three All-GLIAC performers from last season's squad returning. Senior setter Samantha Fordyce and senior middle hitter Anne Sutton were chosen as first team All-GLIAC picks a year ago while sophomore middle hitter Courtney Rehm earned second team status and was the GLIAC's Freshman of the Year.  Meanwhile, senior outside hitter Aly Brecht (Alma) wan an honorable mention choice a year ago.

*Yearbook Available Online: The 2012 Ferris State University Women's Yearbook will be available to view online in a PDF format this week. The publication features such information as 2012 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2011 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc.

*GLIAC Standing/Schedule: Fans can view the complete 2012 GLIAC Standings for both the North and South Divisions along with a composite schedule on the GLIAC website at www.gliac.org.

*Bulldog Bites: Junior setter Samantha Fordyce leads the team in assists with 726 total helpers thus far in the season … Ferris State has 899 total kills while opponents are currently at 920 kills … Defensively, the Bulldogs have racked up 164.5 total blocks, 68 block solos and 193 block assists … Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton has a team-leading 56 total blocks to date with 47 coming on assisted efforts … Junior libero Brandie Merren (Hopkins) has 332 digs for the 2012 campaign and is averaging 4.49 digs per set.

*Productive Span: Ferris State has won 20 or more matches 10 times under 17th-year head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. FSU is presently five wins shy of reaching the mark again this season.  The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament seven times in that span and advanced to the GLIAC Tournament the last 14 consecutive years to date.

*Ninth In Nation: Senior middle hitter Anne Sutton presently ranks sninth in the nation to date in attack percentage with a .397 season figure.  As a team, Ferris State is 17th in the country in hitting percentage as the Bulldogs own a .255 mark overall to date this year.

*Worth Noting: Five of the Bulldogs' last seven matches in league regular-season play will be at home inside the Ewigleben Sports Arena following this week's action.  FSU is currently 6-1 at home to date this season.

*Key Statistics: Ferris State leads the GLIAC and ranks 17th in the nation to date in attack percentage with a .255 hitting figure thus far this season ...... FSU is third in the league in blocks, service aces and digs ...... Bulldog senior Anne Sutton tops the conference chart with a league-leading .397 hitting figure while Samantha Fordyce is fourth in the league in assists (9.81 p/set) ...... Brandie Merren is thirdin the league in digs (4.49 p/set) ... Courtney Rehm is fourth in the GLIAC in service aces (.45 p/set) while Angi Kent is sixth in hitting percentage (.328).

*This Weekend's Opposition:

Findlay: Findlay is presently 8-11 overall and 5-4 in the GLIAC this season under 15th-year head coach Wick Colchagoff.  His squad was 0-3 in GLIAC/GLVC Crossover action last weekend with losses coming against Rockhurst (Mo.), William Jewell (Mo.) and Bellarmine (Ky.).  Findlay trails FSU 10-5 in the all-time series between the two schools and FSU was a 3-0 winner over the Oilers last season.  However, the Bulldogs have won only four times in nine matchups between the two teams at Findlay, Ohio.

Wayne State: Wayne State currently leads the GLIAC South Division with a 13-7 overall record and 7-2 league slate to date this season.  The Warriors are guided by fifth-year head coach Phil Nickel. They finished the GLIAC/GLVC Crossover with a 1-2 mark as well last weekend and the lone win also came against Southern Indiana.  FSU holds a 47-28 all-time series' edge against the Warriors and beat Wayne State 3-0 last season in the most recent matchup between the two teams.  WSU hosts Grand Valley State on Friday before facing the Bulldogs.

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